Sunspot 1190 and Solar Prominences

May 01, 2011

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Photographer: John Chumack
Summary Author: John Chumack

The photo above showing an H-alpha image of the Sun was captured from my backyard in Dayton, Ohio on April 14, 2011. Sunspot series 1190 (lower center) is featured here. These spots or dark blotches are slightly cooler regions on the Sun (3800 K) than the photosphere (5800 K). The brighter and hotter white/yellow areas surrounding the sunspots are referred to as “plages.” Note the burnt-orange filaments flanking Sunspot 1190, which look like a set of parenthesis. Filaments when seen on the limb of the Sun (at top and upper right), against the darker background sky, are known as “prominences.” Prominences are essentially plasma eruptions of the Sun that are anchored to the photosphere. They may extend hundreds of thousands of miles into the solar corona. Click on photo to see a colorized blue image that may help show the filaments and surface detail a little better.

Photo details: DMK 21AF04 Fire-Wire Web camera; 640x480 lens attached to the prime focus of my Lunt 60/LS50F H-Alpha dedicated solar telescope; B/1200 Blocking Filter. Photo taken at approximately 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.